Nation Current Affairs 07 Sep 2018 COMCASA: India&rsquo ...

COMCASA: India’s access to encrypted US information

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Sep 7, 2018, 1:17 am IST
Updated Sep 7, 2018, 1:17 am IST
The pact will also ensure interoperability among the US and the Indian armed forces. 
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and US secretary of defence James Mattis pose for a group photo before India-US 2+2 Dialogue, in New Delhi, Thursday. (Photo: PTI )
 Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and US secretary of defence James Mattis pose for a group photo before India-US 2+2 Dialogue, in New Delhi, Thursday. (Photo: PTI )

New Delhi: The COMCASA that was inked on Thursday between India and the United States is said to be a game-changer that will facilitate the obtaining by India of critical defence technologies from the US, access to high-security encrypted communication networks installed on American defence platforms and also reportedly pave the way for the sale of hi-tech armed drones to India. The pact will also ensure interoperability among the US and the Indian armed forces. 

The inking of the COMCASA shows the proximity and trust that exists now between the leadership of the two countries. The defence platforms on which India could access these communication networks are the C-130 J Super Hercules Transport aircraft, C-17 tactical lift transport aircraft , P8i long-range naval maritime patrol aircraft, and Apache and Chinook helicopters.

 

According to reports, the inking of the COMCASA will help New Delhi receive information instantly from US defence platforms that have located foreign naval platforms like a Chinese submarine or ship, for instance. There were also reports that India could gain valuable intelligence and information through this on possibly hostile troop deployment by its neighbouring countries. 

This will prove crucial to formulate a swift tactical response on the ground.The COMCASA is the second of three major agreements which is the US is keen on signing. The  first was the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) signed in 2016 that was meant  essentially to "facilitate logistic support such as re-fuelling and berthing facilities for each other’s  warships and aircraft  on a reciprocal  basis". The third major agreement that now remains to be signed is  the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA).

 

Both COMCASA  and LEMOA have been inked during the tenure of the NDA Government, signifying the strategic  proximity between the two countries in the past four years.  Incidentally, the nomenclature of the pact, usually known as the Communication and Information  on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), was changed to COMCASA reportedly to signify its  India-specific nature.

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